Curious World of Dandy-Lion by Lorraine Hawley is a children's adventure book about a gifted and curious fifth-grade girl called Meredith Smart. Meredith has a wild imagination, and she's friendless. Well, she has friends, but imaginary ones. In her journal, she wrote down her most important mission. She has to make a real friend, but it must be a girl, to help her break the jinx that keeps Mr. Dally, her neighbor, trapped in his house since his wife died. Meredith learns that she needs Billy, her bully from school, to break the jinx. However, she meets Jax, a boy that wants to help her. Jax soon teaches Meredith that friends are hard to keep, and he makes her doubt him. But is Jax real or a figment of her imagination? Will he and Billy help her save Mr. Dally?
Curious World of Dandy-Lion by Lorraine Hawley is a delightful, enjoyable, and touching story. It contains lovely illustrations that depict scenes from a little girl's amazing imaginary world. I absolutely love this sweet, gorgeously written tale and how it honors the importance of showing kindness and compassion to sad and lonely people around us. It teaches children to believe in themselves, embrace their uniqueness, and that friends are for fun, adventure, and helping others. Curious World of Dandy-Lion by Lorraine Hawley nicely proves that even the smallest creatures, magical or real, can help others in a big way. Kids with a wild imagination, imaginary friends, or who have trouble making friends in school will resonate with this book.
Reviewed By Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite
In Lorraine Hawley's book Curious World of Dandy-Lion a young girl is teetering on the brink of either holding on to her childhood fantasy world - one that is filled with whimsical and mystical creatures only she can see whom seem to give her a sense of comfort and well being or letting go of that world and embarking on the treacherous path of reality and all the hardships that come with growing older and fitting in amongst the crowd. In Meredith's case, she is challenged by the idea of having to give up who she really is in order to find a true friend, but she comes to find out through trial and error what is most important and stumbles upon a few surprises.
Although this story is written for teens or those going through the stages of adolescence, it is a story that most can identify with at some point in their life. We are all made different and sometimes the differences we bring hinder us from building relationships when they are most important, not at the fault of our own. I, as a school counselor and a mother of a 12 year old, could not have felt this book to be more of a reality than of a fantasy for most. Fitting in is hard to do, sometimes no matter the age, and I do believe that any reader will find themselves going through the emotions that are connected with that. I felt so much empathy for Mere and her family; I cried, I laughed, I questioned, yet I never wanted to stop reading.
I would highly recommend this book not only for its wonderful ability to resonate with humankind, but also because the illustrations magically created through the talents of Jocie Salveson bring life and perspective to the reader. The teamwork of Lorraine and Jocie have, without a doubt, formulated a masterpiece that can be shared and used across a span of settings and readers. I look forward to [hopefully] more of their work in the future.